Court Mandated Ignition Interlock Devices:
An ignition interlock device is a Breathalyzer that is connected to a vehicle's dashboard and is hard-wired into an automobile's ignition system. When a Georgia driver has a second DUI in a 5-year period of time, they are required to install the device for 12-months. The driver will first have a 4 month, hard license suspension (no driving at all). Then, after the 4-month hard suspension, the driver can apply for a permit once he or she has installed the ignition interlock device.
Essentially, the ignition interlock device will prevent the automobile from starting if it detects the driver's blood alcohol concentration is above the programmed limit. If the device detects alcohol, it will keep a report of the positive test that is then downloaded by the interlock provider. Ultimately, the interlock provider will then forward the result to the driver's probation officer, which can result in a probation revocation hearing.
Do Not Tamper With an Ignition Interlock Device:
These devices are designed to ensure that they are not manipulated. To this end, after the engine starts, the device will randomly require an additional breath sample. If an adequate sample is not provided, the device will simply log the incident and again the failure to provide the sample will be reported to the driver's probation officer. (This is opposed to halting the engine, which would defeat the safe driving purpose of the device.)
The first ignition interlock devices did not require the additional sample while driving, and as a result, a sober person was able to help the driver start his car thereby defeating the purpose of the device. Requiring an additional sample ensures that the driver supplied the initial breath sample, and also that the driver remains sober while driving.
The Costs Associated With Your Court-Ordered Ignition Interlock Device:
If the Court has ordered you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, you will have to pay for the device installation and rental fees. Typically, the device installation price ranges from $100-$200 and the monthly fee ranges from $70-$100. These prices do not include maintenance fees or calibration charges. Some shops charge additional fees for newer vehicles when the car's wiring information has not yet been released. Further, some shops will not install the devices on luxury cars and classic vehicles because they do not want to be responsible for damaging an expensive or rare vehicle.
Before bringing in your vehicle, check to make sure the shop is willing to install the device on your vehicle model. Installation usually takes about two hours to complete.
Admonitions About Using Ignition Interlock Devices in Georgia:
Remember, the most important piece of information in this article is that a driver's probation officer will have access to every sample given on the device. All DUI probationers are prohibited from consuming any alcohol whatsoever. This is more than a prohibition against alcohol intoxication. No alcohol means NO ALCOHOL.
As a result, if a person fails to provide a sample while driving or tests positive when starting the car, that driver's probation officer will likely file a petition to revoke some or all of their probation. Usually a warrant would issue and the probationer would be picked up pending a hearing. In some counties, a person will wait up to 30 days in jail before going before a judge, bond is very rare in situations involving a probation warrant. Usually, the probationer is left in jail until their hearing. If you are on probation, it's simply not worth consuming alcoholic beverages and risking this kind of severe punishment.
Also, be aware that many everyday products have isopropyl alcohol, such as soaps, hand sanitizers, mouthwash, hand wipes, and gels. This ignition interlock device does not have the means of detecting the difference between isopropyl alcohols and ethyl alcohols found in beverages. Be careful to not have those items in your car or to use them before entering your vehicle. Most probation officers and judges will not believe a second-time (or more) DUI offender that there was a false positive.
Finally, altering the device or presenting false information to a court will subject a person to further criminal prosecution.
If you have been arrested for DUI contact your Atlanta DUI Attorney today. Atlanta DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson is a former DUI Prosecutor with more than 25 years experience defending people accused of DUI throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are here when you need us most.